Detroit contractors, residents help build arena

Posted at 6:16 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 15:57:24-04

The construction of the new Detroit Red Wings is providing jobs for hundreds of city residents.

Arthur Berry, a laborer apprentice with La Construction, was among a group of workers for Iafrate who trenched out and installed a water main that will service the facility.  

"It gives me, I guess, a bit of a sense of worth to be developing a project in the area that I grew up in and I'll have a chance to visit myself and bring my family to visit as well," said Berry, who lives in Detroit. 

Olympia Development of Michigan's agreement with the Detroit Downtown Development Authority calls for 51 percent of the project's workforce to be Detroit residents. Detroit based contractors are receiving 30 percent of the money from all construction contracts.

"That's the way it should be," Berry said. "You live here, you should be able to get a job here and you should be able to provide for your family in Detroit."

White Construction is managing the many vendors working and providing services at the site.

"That's everything that doesn't involve swinging of a hammer and anything that isn't permanently installed in the site," said Donovan White, the company's deputy operations manager and son of company founder Bernard White.

"All there work that we're putting in place, the time, the budgeting, the pre-planning and it's all coming together," White said. "It's great to be a part of this."